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Durham CSFA Constitution

1          NAME OF ASSOCIATION

a)     That the Association be called the "DURHAM COUNTY SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION (DCSFA)."

b)     This Association shall be affiliated to the English Schools' Football Association and shall be properly constituted in accordance with the rules laid down for a "properly constituted' association in the general rules of the ESFA.

2          AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

a)     The Objects of the Association shall be the mental, moral and physical development and improvement of schoolchildren and students up to 19 years of age through the medium of association football.

b)     To help such charities as the Council of the DCSFA may from time to time determine.

3          MEMBERSHIP & FEES

a)     Membership of DCSFA shall be open to all school / association teams within the 1972 geographical boundaries of County Durham.

b)     DCSFA will sanction the participation of pupils / students of both sexes in matches under its control in line with current FA regulations.

c)      No school may leave one association or league for another without the consent of the County Association.

d)     All matters regarding fees to be decided at the AGM. Affiliation fees should be commensurate to the size of the association, and this will be assessed annually at a fixed rate for each association and each member school. No school or association will be regarded as affiliated for the current season unless the fee is paid, NOT LATER THAN 30th JUNE prior to that season. Each school must be affiliated through an association.

e)     Nominations for Life Membership of the County Schools' FA to be submitted to the Secretary and to be examined by the Chief Officers. Such nominations to be for people who have given considerable service to Schools' Football in Durham County.

f)       All school competitions sanctioned by this Association shall be completed by 31st May.

4          SPORTS EQUITY

a)     Every child / young person who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in football.

b)     The Durham County SFA recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying. It is determined to meet its obligations to ensure that the Durham County SFA, affiliated Associations and schools providing football opportunities for children and young people do so, to the highest possible standard of care.

c)      Every school / association is responsible to the Council for the action of its players, officials and spectators. Schools / associations are further required to take all precautions necessary to prevent spectators threatening or assaulting officials and players during or at the conclusion of matches.

5          COMMITTEE

a)     The Association shall be governed by a Council consisting of the Chief Officers (Chairman, Vice-chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and Assistant Secretary), Child Welfare Officer, ESFA Representative, Ex-Chairman, the Competition Secretaries, a named representative from each affiliated association, Primary Officials, Girls’  Officials,  Team Managers and Assistant Team Managers, Life Members and one representative of the Durham County FA nominated by that body. Council shall, from its first meeting have powers to co-opt a maximum of a further three members. (This could be representation from County Sports Partnerships, SGOs and Professional Clubs (Community Trusts))

b)     The position of chairman shall be held for two years at the end of which the vice-chairman shall succeed to the office unless there are exceptional circumstances which members at the AGM may wish to consider.

AS A MINIMUM THE CHAIR, SECRETARY AND WELFARE OFFICER MUST UNDERTAKE THE ONLINE FA SAFEGUARDING FOR COMMITTEE MEMBERS COURSE.

c)      A Primary Schools Committee of representatives of all associations catering for primary football shall be responsible for the conduct and administration of primary football within the County and shall report to the Council of the DCSFA through its elected representatives.

d)     A Girls’ Football Committee of representatives of all associations catering for girls’ football shall be responsible for the conduct and administration of girls’ football within the County and shall report to the Council of the DCSFA through its elected representatives.

e)     A Disciplinary Committee, consisting of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer together with the relevant Cup Secretary, with power to co-opt as and when necessary, will be responsible for all disciplinary action in cases arising from matches played under the jurisdiction of the Association. This Committee is empowered to impose penalties in all cases of misconduct of players, officials or members.

f)       The Chief Officers may act in an emergency.

6          FINANCES

a)     The financial year shall end on the 31st May of the current year.

b)     The Council of DCSFA shall control the finances, which shall be used solely for the furtherance of the aims and objectives.

c)      The Chairman, Vice-chairman, Treasurer and Secretary for the time being of this Association shall be, for all intents and purposes, the legal owners of cups, moneys and property of this Association, and shall deal with the same according to the directions of the Council.

d)     All schools affiliated to this Association are forbidden to enter competitions run for private gain. Inter-school or inter-association games shall, for the purpose of this Rule, be regarded as competitions.

e)     No new County Competition will be allowed to run unless it has received the sanction of the DCSFA and all applications for same must be made (before June 1st) to the Secretary, who will lay them before the Council Meeting for consideration.

f)       All County Competitions must be under the sole control of a teacher, retired teacher or a person approved by DCSFA.

7          ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS AND EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS

a)     The AGM shall be held at the end of the season, on a date fixed by the Committee. The Secretary shall give 14 days’ notice of such meeting to all association secretaries and competition secretaries. A statement of accounts, duly audited by two auditors elected at the previous AGM, will be presented to the meeting. At the meeting voting shall be restricted to the officers of the Association (one vote), one representative from each affiliated school or competition (one vote), one representative from each affiliated association (one vote) and Life Members (one vote).

b)     Each affiliated association and competition may nominate one candidate for each of the offices of Vice-chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Competition Secretaries. Such nominations to reach the Secretary on or before May 7th, in writing.

c)      The Secretary shall, if necessary, prepare a voting paper containing a list of candidates, with instructions for voting, and shall issue the same by 14th May to all association secretaries and to all competition secretaries. Each affiliated school and competition is entitled to one vote.

d)     All voting papers must be in the hands of the Secretary, at least seven days before the AGM, and shall be in a sealed envelope marked "Voting Papers Only". The votes shall be counted by two scrutineers appointed by the Council at their last meeting before the AGM, and the result of the voting shall be declared at the AGM.

e)     The Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting, at any time, on receiving a requisition stating the objects of the meeting and signed by the representative of not less than 10 affiliated schools or 5 affiliated district associations. Alternatively, the Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting should it be deemed necessary and desirable by the Chief Officers. An agenda of the business to be transacted at any such Extraordinary General Meeting shall accompany the notice convening the meeting.

f)       The decision of Council shall be binding on all schools and associations, with right to appeal, if desired, at the following AGM, conditions as per Rule 7e excepted.

8          QUORUM

a)     The quorum for an AGM / EGM shall be 15 members of DCSFA.

b)     The quorum for a Council Meeting shall be 10 members of DCSFA.

c)      Any decision at an AGM/EGM or Council Meeting shall be taken by a majority of votes cast at the meeting.

d)     In the event of the votes cast being equal on any matter the chair of the meeting shall have a second, or casting vote.

9          DISCIPLINE AND APPEALS

a)     All disciplinary matters relating to the Laws of the Game will be dealt with by ESFA in accordance with the current FA rules. Should a player be suspended for an offence relating to the Laws of the Game that suspension shall be served with the team he / she was representing at the time of the offence.

b)     Protests arising from competitions organised for schools / associations by DCSFA shall be submitted to DCSFA in line with the DCSFA policy for protests, which shall apply as follows:

i.          All protests shall be in writing and shall be received by the secretary within SEVEN working days of the match concerned.

ii.          Any protest shall be signed by the headteacher / principal / association secretary as acknowledgment of their approval of its submission and accompanied by a school / college / association cheque for £30. This will be returned if the appeal is upheld.

iii.          The disciplinary committee of DCSFA will gather any evidence they wish to have before making their decision.

iv.          A copy of this decision must be relayed to both teams in writing.

c)      Should the complainant not be satisfied with the decision of DCSFA an appeal shall be submitted to the ESFA in line with the ESFA policy for appeals, which shall apply as follows:

i.          Any appeal against the decision of DCSFA must be made within TWO working days of the receipt of the ruling that DCSFA has made.

ii.          The appeal must arrive at the ESFA headquarters by letter, countersigned by the headteacher / principal/ association secretary and accompanied by a school / college/ association cheque for £50. This will be returned if the appeal is upheld.

iii.          The appeal will be considered by the ESFA’s governance committee and shall be final and binding on all participants.

10        COUNTY TEAMS

a)     All County Teams shall be selected by the Team Manager and Assistant Team Manager, who may co-opt two other Selectors.

b)     Any player selected to play in a County Representative Game arranged by this Association shall not play in any other game within THREE days of the County game.

c)      Any player selected to play in any match arranged by this Association and (without good and sufficient cause) refusing to comply with the arrangements of Council for playing the match, or failing to play in such a match, may he adjudged by the Council to have been guilty of misconduct, and any school / association who may be deemed to have encouraged to instigated such a player to commit a breach of instruction or rule, shall be deemed guilty of a similar offence.

11        AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

a)     Except for (i) and (ii) no alteration of these rules shall be made except at the AGM, notice of which must have been sent to the Secretary, in writing, before 7th May.

i.          Alteration of rules concerning the conduct and administration of primary football shall be made at the AGM of the Primary Committee and shall not be subject to the approval of the AGM of the DCSFA.

ii.          Alteration of rules concerning the conduct and administration of girls’ football shall be made at the AGM of the Girls’ Football Committee and shall not be subject to the approval of the AGM of the DCSFA.

b)     The Council shall have the power to deal with any matters not mentioned in these rules.

12        DISSOLUTION

In the event of the DCSFA being dissolved the Council of the DCSFA shall realise the property and assets and call in all monies due to the DCSFA and, after discharge of their liabilities, hand the surplus to such charitable institutions or charities as shall be determined by the AGM or a General Meeting called for that purpose.

13        DECLARATION

This constitution was approved by the Chief Officers at an emergency meeting held on Tuesday 15 September 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and shall remain in force until amendments are made at any future AGM / EGM.


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